Blogs/Technology

Futuristic Dentistry Unrevealed

  • Posted By Dr Jeewan k r -MDS
  • Posted On: 07 March 2024
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The emergence of new technologies has brought significant changes to dentistry, allowing dentists and dental hygienists to provide better treatment to their patients. From digital x-rays to 3D printing, technology has revolutionized dentistry, making dentistry more accurate, safe and patient-friendly.

Artificial intelligence in dentistry

The integration of AI in dentistry not only enhances the capabilities of dental professionals but also contributes to a more patient-centric and data-driven approach. As AI technology continues to evolve, we can expect further innovations and applications that will further digitize and optimize the dental industry. It's a promising trend that holds the potential to redefine how oral healthcare is delivered and managed.

Virtual Assistants:

  • AI-driven virtual assistants can assist dentists in streamlining their workflow by handling administrative tasks, appointment scheduling, and organizing patient records. This allows dental professionals to focus more on patient care.

Patient History Analysis:

  • AI algorithms can analyze patient histories, leveraging pattern recognition to identify lesions or infections accurately. This aids in efficient diagnosis and treatment planning.

Smart Toothbrushes:

  • AI-powered smart toothbrushes collect data on patients' brushing habits, providing valuable information to practitioners. This data can be used for personalized oral care recommendations and preventive strategies.

X-ray Analyses:

  • AI applications in analyzing intraoral and extraoral X-rays contribute to faster and more accurate diagnostics. This technology can significantly reduce the time and effort spent on dental charting, improving overall efficiency.

ROBOTICS IN PROSTHODONTICS:-

Robotic applications in implantology can be broadly classified into robot-assisted and fully automated implantation robot s.

Yomi, developed by Neocis in the United States, is a commercial robot-assisted dental-surgery system. The operating arm of the Yomi system assists with automatic positioning by connecting the coordinate measuring machine arm to the patients teeth.

Another advanced technique called fully automatic optical navigation system that could drill and install dental implants according to a preoperative plan.

In March 2022, the system completed an accurate anterior tooth implant surgery in Beijing in just 20 minutes. The robotic system can perform minimally invasive surgery by drilling directly into the gingival mucosa, eliminating the need to cut the mucosa before placing an implant. Reduces surgical and wound recovery time significantly. During drilling, the robot can follow the patient's movement to calibrate the position, reducing human errors and enhancing accuracy and safety.

Overall, these robotic systems in implantology aim to improve precision, reduce surgical and recovery times, and enhance overall safety by leveraging automation and advanced technologies. The examples provided demonstrate successful applications of robotic assistance and automation in dental implant procedures, showcasing the potential for improved patient outcomes in the field.

ROBOTICS IN ORAL AND MAXILLOFACIAL SURGERY:-

In orthognathic surgery, a robotic system has been developed to assist in bone segment repositioning. The system consists of an arm with six DOF, a robot motion controller, and a PC. The tracking tools at the end effector and patient splint helped to reposition the phantom maxillary complex around the tool center point of the maxillary incisor and mandible

The role of robots in oral and maxillofacial surgery is multifaceted and involves various stages of the surgical process. The two primary aspects include:

Preoperative Planning and Imaging:

  • Robots play a crucial role in obtaining and reconstructing high-resolution 3D images of the oral and maxillofacial region before surgery. This allows for a detailed analysis of the patient's anatomy and the characteristics of any lesions.
  • The robotic systems are equipped to analyze the acquired 3D image data, assisting surgeons in understanding the specific characteristics of the lesion or pathology.
  • Based on the analysis, robots aid in the design of a targeted and personalized surgical plan. This can include planning for the removal of tumors, reconstruction of defects, or other necessary interventions.

Intraoperative Surgical Assistance:

Robots are utilized to precisely segment the affected areas or structures in real-time during the surgery. This ensures that the surgical team can focus on specific regions with high accuracy. The robotic systems are programmed to perform tasks such as reshaping, displacing, and fixing craniofacial bones according to the predetermined surgical plan. This level of precision is crucial for achieving optimal outcomes in complex oral and maxillofacial surgeries.
Additionally, there is ongoing development in the use of robots for specialized operations within oral and maxillofacial surgery. For example, in velopharyngeal surgery, where precise interventions are needed for the soft palate and pharynx, specialized robotic systems are being developed to enhance surgical capabilities.

The integration of robotics in oral and maxillofacial surgery aims to improve surgical precision, reduce invasiveness, and enhance overall patient outcomes. These advancements highlight the potential for technology to play a significant role in the evolving field of surgical intervention in oral and maxillofacial cases.

ROBOTICS IN ORTHODONTICS:-

The integration of robots in orthodontics has brought advancements, particularly in clinical diagnosis, treatment planning, and archwire bending. Here are key points regarding the use of robots in orthodontics:

Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment Planning:

  • Robots can assist in clinical diagnosis by processing data from various imaging techniques, such as X-rays, CT scans, and intraoral scans. This aids orthodontists in accurately assessing the patient's dental and facial structures. Robotic systems can contribute to the preparation of precise and customized treatment plans based on the individual patient's anatomy and orthodontic needs.

Archwire Bending:

  • Archwire bending is a crucial aspect of orthodontic treatment, as it involves shaping the wires to guide teeth into the desired position. The high stiffness and superelasticity of orthodontic wires make manual bending a challenging task. Human factors in the traditional manual method can introduce errors and inconsistencies in the formed archwire curve.

Robotic Archwire Bending:

  • Robots provide a solution to the challenges associated with manual archwire bending. They can automate the bending process with precision, ensuring consistent and accurate archwire shapes. use of robotics helps overcome the difficulties posed by the unique mechanical properties of orthodontic wires.

Advantages:

  • Precision: Robotic archwire bending ensures high precision and repeatability, reducing the likelihood of errors introduced by human factors.
  • Customization: The automation allows for the creation of customized archwire shapes tailored to individual patient needs.
  • Efficiency: Robotic systems can enhance the efficiency of the archwire bending process, saving time for orthodontic practitioners.

The widespread adoption of robotic technology in orthodontics, particularly in archwire bending, reflects a move toward more accurate and efficient orthodontic treatments. This integration contributes to improved treatment outcomes, patient satisfaction, and the overall advancement of orthodontic practices.

The introduction of the "LAMDA (Lingual Archwire Manufacturing and Design Aid)" system represents a technological advancement in the field of lingual orthodontics, particularly in the manufacturing and design of archwires.

  • The LAMDA system is designed for lingual orthodontics, which involves the placement of orthodontic appliances on the inner surfaces of teeth (lingual side).The system features a heater capable of raising the temperature of a nickel titanium archwire to 600 degree F (approximately 316 degree C) and bending it within a short time frame of 6 minutes.
  • The ability of the LAMDA system to heat and bend archwires within a short time frame (6 minutes) suggests efficiency in the manufacturing process.

Implications for Lingual Orthodontics:

  • The introduction of the LAMDA system highlights a technological advancement in lingual orthodontics, where automation is employed to enhance the archwire manufacturing process.
  • Improved Outcomes: The higher evaluation scores suggest that the LAMDA system may contribute to improved outcomes in lingual orthodontic treatments, potentially offering benefits in terms of accuracy and consistency.

The LAMDA system's ability to heat and bend archwires efficiently and its positive evaluation scores from specialists indicate its potential as a valuable tool in lingual orthodontics. The system's automation may contribute to more standardized and precise archwire designs, ultimately enhancing the overall quality of orthodontic treatments in this specialized field.

ROBOTICS IN ENDODONTICS:-

The development of the "Omni Phantom" robot with a haptic virtual reality simulator for endodontic procedures represents an innovative approach to training in root canal therapy. Here are key points regarding this technology:

Omni Phantom Robot:

  • Developed for training purposes in endodontic procedures, particularly root canal therapy.
  • Haptic Virtual Reality Simulator: Incorporates haptic feedback, allowing users to experience a realistic sense of touch and force feedback during simulated procedures.

Training in Endodontic Procedures:

  • Root canal therapy involves using files, such as K-shaped or rotary files, in the delicate and narrow root canals. The risk of file breakage and root perforation is a concern in real-life scenarios. The simulator provides a controlled environment for users to practice without the associated risks.
  • Users can practice using a simulated K-file on the Omni Phantom robot to perform key steps in endodontic procedures, including burring the enamel, dentin, and cleaning the inner surface of the root canal.
  • The haptic feedback enhances the simulation, providing users with a realistic touch and force feedback similar to what they would encounter during an actual procedure.

 Advantages of Simulator Training:

  • Risk-Free Environment: Training on a simulator helps mitigate the risks associated with real patient procedures, such as file breakage and root perforation.
  • Repetition and Skill Refinement: Users can repeat procedures on the simulator, allowing for skill refinement and the development of muscle memory.
  • Confidence Building: Simulator training can help build confidence in practitioners, especially those in the early stages of their career.

Application of Virtual Reality in Dental Education:

  • Technological Integration: The use of haptic virtual reality simulators reflects the integration of advanced technology in dental education to enhance training experiences.
  • Interactive Learning: Interactive and immersive learning experiences in virtual reality contribute to a more engaging and effective educational process.

The "Omni Phantom" robot with a haptic virtual reality simulator provides a valuable tool for dental professionals to train and refine their skills in endodontic procedures. By offering a realistic and risk-free environment, this technology contributes to the ongoing efforts to enhance the training and education of dental practitioners in the field of root canal therapy.

The development of micro-endodontic robots holds significant promise in overcoming certain limitations associated with traditional endodontic treatments. Here are key points regarding the potential benefits and challenges of micro-endodontic robots:

Advantages of Micro-Endodontic Robots:

  • Overcoming Limited Mouth Opening: Traditional endodontic procedures may face challenges in cases where there is insufficient mouth opening. Micro-endodontic robots, being smaller and more precise, can potentially navigate and operate in confined spaces within the root canal system, addressing issues related to limited access.
  • Safe, Accurate, and Reliable Treatment: The use of micro-endodontic robots can enhance the safety, accuracy, and reliability of root canal treatments. The precision offered by these miniature robots may result in improved outcomes and reduced risks compared to traditional methods.

Challenges and Areas for Further Research:

  • Design and Manufacture of Microsensors and Actuators: The success of micro-endodontic robots depends on the development of advanced microsensors and actuators. These components are crucial for enabling the robot to navigate and perform tasks within the intricate root canal system.
  • Miniaturization Challenges: Creating robots on a micro-scale poses challenges related to miniaturization, ensuring that the robots are small enough to navigate the complex and narrow spaces within the root canals while maintaining the necessary functionality.
  • Biocompatibility: Ensuring that the materials used in the construction of micro-endodontic robots are biocompatible is essential to prevent adverse reactions when the robots come into contact with the patient's tissues.

Future Research Directions:

  • Navigation and Control Systems: Research efforts may focus on developing sophisticated navigation and control systems to guide micro-endodontic robots accurately through the root canal system.
  • Integration with Imaging Technologies: Integrating micro-endodontic robots with advanced imaging technologies, such as micro-CT scans or intraoral cameras, can provide real-time visualization and feedback for practitioners.
  • Automation and Autonomy: Research can explore ways to enhance the automation and autonomy of micro-endodontic robots, allowing them to perform certain tasks independently.

Potential Impact on Patient Care:

  • Minimally Invasive Procedures: Micro-endodontic robots have the potential to enable minimally invasive procedures, reducing the need for extensive tooth structure removal.
  • Improved Patient Experience: The use of advanced robotics may lead to improved patient experiences by offering more precise and efficient root canal treatments.

In summary, while the development of micro-endodontic robots presents exciting possibilities for advancing root canal treatments, ongoing research is crucial to address challenges related to the design, manufacture, and integration of microsensors and actuators. As these challenges are addressed, micro-endodontic robots may become valuable tools in providing safer, more accurate, and reliable endodontic care.

Masticatory robots are robots, devices, or simulators that can simulate the human chewing motion. It can be used in dentistry, food science (evaluation of food texture characteristics and food-chewing dynamics), and biomechanics (analysis of mandibular joint force and stress distribution). It can provide jaw movement recordings for patients requiring prosthetic rehabilitation. It can also be used in the research and diagnosis of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) diseases or the study of mandibular kinematics during speech.

3D PRINTING IN DENTISTRY

The application of 3D printing in dentistry has indeed revolutionized various aspects of dental care, offering customization, efficiency, and precision. Here's a breakdown of the main applications of 3D printing in the field of dentistry:

3D Scanning:

  • Digital Workflow: 3D scanning is the initial step in the digital workflow. It involves scanning the inside of the patient's mouth to create a digital model file, which can be exported in formats like STL for further 3D printing applications.

Crowns and Bridges:

  • 3D printing is extensively used for manufacturing crowns and bridges, common products in dental treatment.
  • Resin 3D printing is employed to create temporary, high-precision, and aesthetically pleasing crowns and bridges.

Aligners and Retainers:

  • 3D printing enables the production of highly customized aligners and retainers. The technology not only increases manufacturing speed but also allows for personalized solutions to suit individual patient needs.

Implants:

  • 3D printing facilitates the on-demand production of dental implants, offering a faster and personalized solution. Customized implants are particularly crucial in dental care.

Anatomical Replicas and Models:

  • Planning and Training: 3D printing is used to create anatomical replicas and models, such as jaw or mouth models. These are valuable for planning and discussing surgical procedures, providing detailed images for presentations and training while minimizing the risk of errors.

Dentures:

  • 3D printing is emerging as a technology to produce dentures, streamlining a traditionally complex and time-consuming process. While challenges exist, ongoing developments aim to improve aesthetics and resolution.

Casting Models:

  • 3D printing is utilized for creating dental cast models, which are exact 3D replicas of a patient's teeth. These models are essential for studying the mouth and for the production of crowns, bridges, and dentures.

The application of 3D printing in dentistry streamlines processes, reduces the complexity of traditional methods, and offers a more personalized approach to patient care. Beyond dentistry, the technology has found applications in various fields, showcasing its versatility and potential for innovation.


" Technology is constantly advancing, and dental professionals must keep up to date to provide patients with the best possible care. As far as dental care is concerned, new technology has had a very positive impact on public health, and it is likely that this trend will continue in the future. "
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